Bust out the beads, the booze, and the sparkly sugar, because this King Cake French Toast is stuffed with bourbon pecan cream cheese and ready to party, party, party.
Mardi Gras is calling us to burst into the streets wielding our tambourines and trombones and wiggle our booties. Our contagious public dance party of few will grow into a jazz parade of many. We’ll make new friends, learn new moves, and feel no shame. The only appropriate way to end (or begin) this fine Fat Tuesday: King Cake French Toast Stuffed with Bourbon Pecan Cream Cheese.
Whatever your plans from now until Mardi Gras, this King Cake French Toast demands to join the fun. It’s an easy, overnight French toast bake recipe inspired by classic New Orleans king cake. Cream cheese, toasted pecans, and bourbon are involved. A creamy dreamy glaze is poured. Sparkly sugar is sprinkled, all in the name of Fat Tuesday! Since king cakes range from fluffy coffee cake-like rings with soft glaze to decadent pastries loaded with creamy fillings, I placed our King Cake French Toast somewhere in between, though it teeters towards the less-sweet side. This is breakfast after all, so I didn’t want things to become tooth-achey sweet. Bourbon at breakfast, however, is completely acceptable.
Sickening sweetness first thing in the morning? No. Bourbon? Absolutely.
I’m not sure what that philosophy says about me. Let’s not dwell. We have King Cake French Toast to bake.
For the custard, we’re whisking together primarily egg whites and milk (I know it’s Fat Tuesday, but I’m leaving you a little extra room for beignets), along with cinnamon and nutmeg. For the bread, we’re choosing any sturdy loaf that captures our fancy. Brioche or challah will be rich, wonderful, and closest to a true king cake. Sourdough will be tangy and tasty. French bread will be fun. Whole wheat (what I used) will add pleasant nuttiness and extra fiber. The only true rule is that the bread be thickly sliced and have a somewhat firm structure so that it can absorb the max amount of custard without becoming soggy.
Now, let’s get between the slices. Cream cheese filling is traditional in many king cakes, and cream cheese-stuffed French toast sounds totally dreamy, so we spread it on thick. Toasted pecans and brown sugar are whipped with the cream cheese for warmth and crunch. Bourbon need be added in honor of Mardi Gras, a festive spirit, and a certain (in)famous street in New Orleans.
Whew! Let’s finish this pecan-bourbon-brown sugar-cream cheese-stuffed French toast custard magic. Gilding the Fat Tuesday lily, is a bright, citrusy Greek yogurt topping, my breakfast twist on the classic powdered sugar glaze that crowns a king cake. It’s just sweet enough to make King Cake French Toast a Fat Tuesday-worthy treat.
At last, it’s time to sparkle in green, gold, and purple. Of course King Cake French Toast will taste fabulous without the colorful sugar bling, but if there is anything we can take away from this jazz party on a plate, it’s this: Mardi Gras is no time to be shy.
Pour on the sparkle, breaks out the horns, and let’s boogie!
More Mardi Gras and more French toast:
- Overnight French Toast Bake Supreme from The Law Student’s Wife
- Mardi Gras High Hat Cupcakes from I Am Baker
- King Cake Cookies with Praline Pecan from Baked Bree
- Bourbon Banana Nut Stuffed French Toast from Country Cleaver